Track by Track: Dugong Jr - White Hearts
Australia's Moving Castle flag-bearer walks us through his collaboration-heavy new EP, White Hearts.
When it comes to online electronic music collectives, there are none quite as exciting as Moving Castle. The production crew, which was launched a few years back with acts including Manila Killa, Robokid and AObeats, has played a big part in the Soundcloud explosion, birthing some of the most exciting names in electronic at the moment. Dugong Jr, the sole Australian on the label and one of the collective’s few founding fathers, is one of these exciting names, returning last week with his new, collaboration-loaded EP White Hearts.
Enlisting names including Midas.Gold, Fossa Beats and Janeva for guest verses and co-production credits, White Hearts is, as you would expect from an EP with so many different collaborators, quite varied in its sounds and tones. The EP’s leading single See You Again is quiet and tasteful, bubbling with an easily-accessible, radio-friendly that pairs excellent song-writing with Dugong Jr’s personal production nuances. Lights Out is in similar taste, with Janeva’s guest vocals and the single’s woozy instrumental giving the Lights Out a more dimly-lit, sensual sound to it. White Hearts, the EPs title track, is a completely different ball game, with Dugong enlisting Australian rapper-on-the-come-up Midas.Gold for a heavy, hip-hop single which contrasts perfectly against the rest of the EPs lighter, easier-to-digest sound. Listen to the full EP on Soundcloud below, with track-by-track commentary on each track from the man himself.
On the EP as a whole:
This EP is basically a representation of where I’ve been at both mentally and musically for the last 12 months. I wanted it to be a kind of musically journey showing how my sound has evolved over the last couple of years. Collaboration was a huge part of this release for me, I get to meet so many amazing artists traveling around and I wanted to try and feature and collaborate with as many of my super talented friends as I could on this EP. It took a while to put together but I’m super proud of everyone that helped contribute and how it ended up turning out.
On a broad spectrum, the White Hearts EP deals with themes of addiction, relationships and the idea of reclaiming identity. I really wanted to create quite loud contrasts between the sounds of the instrumentals and vocal themes, and give each track its own distinct character.
See You Again (feat. Northside & Mayowa):
This was the first single released off the EP and actually the first one I wrote. The idea was started almost 2 years ago with Paddy [Northside] in my bedroom, in this tiny apartment I was living in at the time. The track is basically about a destructive relationship where both people form a sort of dependency on the idea of it, and highlights the back and forth process that ensues when ultimately they know they need to leave each other.
Lights Out (feat. Janeva):
Lights Out is basically about knowing when to walk away from a relationship. Janeva is a super talented musician, she’s one of the sweetest humans ever and everything she does both lyrically and vocally is super empowering.
White Hearts (feat. Midas.Gold & MACE):
This is probably the darkest song of the EP, and deals with ideas of substance abuse and relationships that can kind of be formed around them. Mace and I started this track last year while he was in Australia touring from Italy. We spent a couple of days together while he critiqued Australian coffee and food, and crafted the basis for what would become this song. A couple of months later, Midas jumped on it and basically freestyled the whole song in like a 40-minute session - dude is crazy talented!
Lies (feat. Layne & Fossa Beats):
This track is about reflection. It kind of jumps back and forth in time in terms of perspective and represents a certain melancholy aspect to a relationship that you can only realize when looking back reflecting on it.
White Hearts is available on iTunes now, via Moving Castle.